Dr Lisa graduates

After passing her PhD viva in January, Lisa Recnik returned to Bristol to graduate. Here she is in her ‘subtle’ graduation robes:

Lisa graduation.jpg

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2017 BCS CDT Conference: Prizes for Joe & Beth!

The Bristol Chemical Synthesis CDT Summer Conference was held recently, with strong representation from the Willis group. On the first day we saw presentations from the 2016 cohort, outlining the projects they had chosen for their PhD, and some preliminary results. Joe (supervised by Chris), Beth and Hannah (both co-supervised by Chris and Kevin Booker-Milburn) all gave excellent presentations.

On the second day, David and Paul gave updates on the progress of their PhD projects, 2 years in. This was accompanied by a wide breadth of excellent science from the rest of the 2014 cohort. Alongside this, the 2013 cohort (including our own Nick and Dan) presented posters at a lively poster session.

Big congratulations to Joe and Beth, who shared the Loes Hendrickx prize for the best performance over the initial PACT training period of their PhDs.

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Joe joins from the Chemical Synthesis CDT

joe-barkerAfter completing the PACT period of the Bristol Chemical Synthesis CDT, Joe Barker has now joined the Willis group for the remainder of his PhD studies. Joe graduated from the University of Oxford in 2016, spending his final year in the group of Professor Jeremy Robertson. Joe will be investigating the biomimetic total synthesis of polyketide natural products.

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Willis group at Grasmere Symposium 2017

The Willis group attended the 23rd Grasmere Heterocyclic Symposium in numbers this year, with Chris joined by Nick, Dan, David, Edith & Kun. All enjoyed hearing about some truly outstanding chemistry from a wide range of topics, from speakers such as Ei-ichi Negishi, Paul Wender and Neil Garg. Nick also had the chance to present alongside such illustrious names, with Dan, David, Edith & Kun presenting posters at a lively poster session, for which Dan was awarded a prize. Negishi group photo

It would be wrong to go to the Lake District and not make the most of the stunning countryside, and the organised walks provided a perfect chance to take in the views and meet a wide range of chemists from both academia and industry.

All in all a very enjoyable meeting, and the whole group would like to thank Chris and Sharon Rossiter for their hard work in organising it, and Paul Wender for an excellent after-dinner speech.

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New article featured on cover of Angewandte Chemie

ACIE Cover

The latest from our group on the biosynthesis of the antibiotics mupirocin and thiomarinol has been designated a Very Important Paper by Angewandte Chemie, and highlighted on the cover of their most recent issue. Congratulations to Luoyi, Song, Chris and everyone else involved in this exciting piece of research.

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Project Students finish in the lab

Cake Another academic year is flying by, as it doesn’t seem long since the project students joined the group and already they’re leaving to begin writing up and focusing on lectures before their summer exams. It’s been a pleasure to have Angus, Rachel, James, Holly and Harry in the lab this year, and it definitely feels much quieter without them!

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Nick wins poster prize

Congratulations to Nick Lees, who won a prize for his poster entitled ‘Abyssomicin Biosynthetic Enzymes Catalyse Acetate Elimination and Diels-Alder Reactions’ at the RSC South West Regional Meeting held at the University of Bath recently.

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